Is It, Or Isn't It? 14.03.2012
fake shank and shoulders

Spotting Conversions and Changes in Early Rings

Jewellery is often altered, be it to turn an unfashionable item of its time, such as a slide or brooch,…

Rings 12.03.2012
Embroidered Hair on Silk/Material Ring, 1763

Embroidered Hair on Silk/Material Ring, 1763

As we saw in the ‘Eternity Knot Ring Shows Changing Styles in the 18thC’ article, the Neoclassical movement swiftly appropriated…

Rings 18.01.2012
Mother of Pearl Mourning Ring, Vulcanite

Mother of Pearl Ring, Late 19th Century

Inlaid with mother of pearl, this ring with the initials JB is another odd piece for a time when much…

Rings 16.12.2011
Chas Fraser / OB: 16 April 1746 / Born: May 23/ 1725 Mourning Ring

The Eternity Twist, Hairwork, Crystal and the Early 18th Century / Ring

Twisting hairwork into the eternity knot was quite a popular motif in the first half of the 18th century, one…

Rings 25.11.2011

Ring Design in the Early 19th Century: Machine-Turned

We have taken a look at some of the more unusual design elements at the turn of the 19th century…

Rings 23.11.2011

Ring Design in the Early 19th Century: Oval and Rectangle

Following on from our previous look at the wonderful open-shanks of the early 19th century, we have this ring, with…

Rings 21.11.2011

Ring Design in the Early 19th Century: Open Shank

Experimentation of styles at the end of the Neoclassical movement created some unusual and quite beautiful forms of mainstream design…

Rings 18.11.2011
19th century memento mori ring

Skulls, Rings, the 19th Century… What We Must Ask

The skull in depiction is a good way of understanding whether or not a mourning jewel is all it claims…

Rings 14.11.2011
Rose and Yellow Gold 'Cigar Band' Ring / 1810

Rose and Yellow Gold ‘Cigar Band’ Ring / 1810

While we’re working behind the scenes rebuilding Art of Mourning, let’s reflect on this magnificent tale from the crypt: Rose…

Rings 17.10.2011
Charles I Mourning Ring Front

An Historical Charles I Ring

This piece dedicated to Charles I is a display of affection that would eventually generate the popularity of the mourning…

Rings 13.10.2011
c.1680-1700 Memento Mori Mourning Ring

How Society Entered Mourning: c.1680-1700 Memento Mori Mourning Ring

I’ve written quite a bit about memento mori, it seems to be one of those subjects that is as fascinating…

Rings 29.07.2011
Rococo Revival Ring

Rococo Revival Ring, Victorian Paradise

The Victorian appropriation of the Rococo style is something that overtook the mainstream and led to many good pieces of…

Rings 13.07.2011
Louis XVI Royalist Supporter French Ring

Louis XVI Royalist Supporter French Ring

Excuse me while I marvel at this gem – please tell the crowd all about it, Barbara: “this is Royalist…

Rings 08.07.2011
Watering Can Ring French Sepia c.1780s

Watering Can Symbolism in a French Sepia Ring

From the collection of the always wonderful Barbara Robbins comes this very interesting ring! Take it away, Barbara: “This one…

Rings 01.07.2011
Urn Willow Onyx Mourning Ring

An Onyx Urn and Weeping Willow Ring Forever After

If you know me well enough, you may think this is hypocritical, but sometimes I often buy jewellery to wear….

Rings 24.06.2011
Chas Fraser / OB: 16 April 1746 / Born: May 23/ 1725 Mourning Ring

Eternally Twisting in 1746

Ah, another delight torn from the clutches of London! This one came from a collection of an antiques dealer in…

Rings 03.06.2011
Amethyst Ring Mary Wooley OB: 8 April 1765 AE: 64

The Diamonds, Amythest and Colours of Mary Wooley OB: 8 April 1765 AE: 64 in a Ring

My dear jewellery historians, what is it that strikes you about this ring on first appearance? Look at it carefully…

Rings 20.05.2011
Envelope Ring 19th Century

Elegant 19th Century Envelope Ring

Despite the introduction of lower grade alloys in jewellery post Hallmarking Act of 1854, no construction or detail was lost…

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Rings 10.05.2011
modern hinged ring

Hinged Ring and Further Examples

Strange sized fingers and opening hinges while a jewellery historian binges on a wealth of fabulous examples of this odd…

Rings 14.04.2011
1770 Garnet, Paste Ring

c1770 Garnet Paste Ring

A wonderful antique late Georgian English, solid 9 carat gold (tests thereabouts) ring; beautifully made, with ornate shoulders, radially fluted…

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Art 28.01.2011

Neoclassical Art as Depicted in Embroidered Hair on Silk/Material

Judging from the title of this little piece, you’d think the article was based upon hairstyles of the Neoclassical era,…

Rings 20.12.2010
Charles I Mourning Ring Front

Revisiting A Charles I Ring

This piece dedicated to Charles I is a display of affection that would eventually generate the popularity of the mourning…

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Rings 25.10.2010
1765 Mourning Band

The Mid 18th Century as Viewed From the Perspective of a Ring

Let’s go back to 1765 for a little while. The Stamp Act was passed from Great Britain to the American…

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Rings 23.10.2010

Saturday Show & Tell: 18th Century Skeletal Memento Mori Band

Because I can, here’s a sneak peek at my newest addition to the family and something you’ll be seeing a…

Rings 18.10.2010
Anachronistic 1780 Memento Mori Neoclassical Ring

Memento Mori in Jewellery: Anachronistic 1780s White Enamel Ring Where Memento Mori Meets Neoclassicism

Continuing our look at memento mori in jewellery through the ages comes this stunning piece from the collection of Marielle Soni. This particular piece jumps ahead of our previous example from c.1680 and we go directly to 1780, in future articles, I will fill out the 1720s-1760s, so you can all see how the memento mori symbols were used in their context.

Rings 11.10.2010
Locket Ring, Hinged with Hairwork

Space Oddity; Understanding a Hinged / Locket Sentimental Ring with Hair

Been somewhat of an odd sort myself, it’s when I find the oddities and individuals in sentimental and mourning jewellery…

Rings 30.09.2010
c.1680-1700 Memento Mori Mourning Ring

How Society Entered Mourning: c.1680-1700 Memento Mori Mourning Ring

have lost their enamel inlay and are quite worn down, but this one is a perfect representation of how it was from when it was constructed. Note the Baroque influence in the design and how this would influence pieces of contemporary and later times. Particularly, the society in which this ring was created was dealing with the new found stability in the government due to the Restoration and from this, industry was finding new ways to create a niche in producing items for a society that was becoming upwardly mobile in ways that had not been seen since the Roman era. Appropriating popular art styles, such as that of the all-pervasive Baroque, and using its influence in products was (and still is) only a logical step in simply selling an item.

Collecting 28.09.2010
Garnet Ring, c.1830

Hunting for Treasure in Sydney, 2010

As mentioned last week, I spent an all-too-brief weekend in Sydney, where I got to meet a lot of lovely…

Rings 24.09.2010
Late Victorian Hair Band

Another Beautiful Late Victorian Hair Band!

In the same vein as the surrounding hair bands, this piece is c1890 and carries a single pearl (tear). Note…

Rings 23.09.2010
Stuart Crystal 17th Century Ring Memento Mori

17th Century Crystal Memento Mori Ring: A Study

Rings of the late 17th century are the predecessors to many of the ring styles that followed through to the 19th century. They are also becoming harder and harder to find, as many were worn for their intent (as opposed to being hidden away as keepsakes) and they’ve survived many modern recessions that saw some beautiful pieces get broken down and melted for their gold.